javascript:; 2013 Coal Tar vs. Asphalt Sealer Price Comparison | Coal Tar Free America

Editor's note: This is an annual survey from 2013. For more recent surveys go here

This post is the third time we have compared the cost of retail driveway sealers.  The previous two were made in March, so it made sense for an update.  Keep in mind that the cost of the two dominant products are sensitive to the price of fuel and susceptible to interruptions in the supply chain.  

Frequently people ask which product lasts longest or is better.  Generally speaking, these products, no matter which primary ingredient it contains, become more expensive with the addition of polymers and fortifiers that make the product perform better.  In other words, which would you think would last longer a coal tar sealant at $113 per 5 gallon bucket or one that costs just $13?  

This is illustrated with above price versus warranty graph using the retail "Black Jack" line of asphalt-based driveway sealer.  A product that just has a 2 year warranty is about half the amount of one that has a 10 year warranty.  Which is "better?"  It would depend on what you can afford. Longevity of the products is a function of the quality of the ingredients and the quality of the installation.

From a retail perspective I "googled" the shopping search engine for driveway sealant products. I got 27 separate products with the following breakdown:
  • Asphalt-based: 17 products with 8 less than $20 per 5 gallon bucket with a low of $12 and an average of $20 from those surveyed last year with a 5% increase in the average price since 2012.  It is important to realize the product variability here as well.  Some have as little as a 1 year warranty.
  • Coal tar-based: 7 products with a low of $13 and an average of $16 from those surveyed last year. The average price has increased about 5% since last year as well.  Not included in these averages are some new (to me) coal tar sealants available in 5 gallon buckets, but that cost as much as $113 per bucket!  This is about 10 times more expensive than the cheapest coal tar product.
  • Gilsonite-based (a special fossilized asphalt): 1 product for $42.
  • Acrylic-based: 2 products for an average $40.
So you can see for retail products, asphalt sealants continue to dominate at least the number of products available and come in a variety of qualities and a broad range of costs.

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